Betting on Favorites

Football bet types
Betting on Favorites

One of the biggest challenges we are facing as football bettors is to pick the most lucrative odds. We all know that odds defined by bookmakers do not often correspond to real chances for a match result. Therefore it’s always necessary to thoroughly analyze and pick only the lucrative ones. Each bettor do have his own analytic methods for it. In this article I want to share with You my knowledge gained by years of betting with focusing on important finding: To be profitable in long term period it is necessary to bet on odds under 1.50!

I know, “low odds betting” isn’t convenient for everyone. Although there is lower risk of failing, higher stake is needed to achieve interesting profit and eventual loss is very painful. Well, sports betting is no cakewalk and good bettor should know how to handle big losses as well.

Why exactly odds under 1.50?

To explain it I have to explain You the way, how I got to it.

At the beginning of the year 2013 I started to bet football matches together with 2 experienced bettors:

  • We betted 20 leagues with around 50-60 matches per week
  • Over time we ruled out some leagues and focused only on top European leagues (lower-level leagues do have more lucrative odds, but lower quality, team unreliability and unsufficient information avoided us to be successful).
  • Each match was placed on separate ticket
  • Each league had defined fixed profit (there is need to bet such money amount, so the ticket profit is always e.g. 15 Euro)
  • Stake for odds under 1.25 was always calculated with odd 1.25 (it’s not recommended to stake more than 5% of the whole fund in 1 bet)
  • We used web portals for betting to evade manipulation fee that was present at that time in our country
  • For analysis we used advanced application based on statistical analysis, which predicts match results.
  • Extremes, that the application could not evaluate (e.g. Glasgow Rangers team relegation to 3rd division because of financial issues) had been removed manually

 After more than 2 years of betting I decided to summarize all results to get valuable information for future betting. I focused the analysis on betting successfulness and odds dependency.

Betting success rate within odds intervals

First I decided to find out what was the betting success rate in defined odds intervals from 1.00 going up. Final chart shows quite expected results, where the betting success rate is dropping down with odd increasing. Exception represents only odds interval (2.75;3.00> because of “low odds” draws. Important information, which I learned from the chart is almost constant 87% betting success rate in each betting period[1] for odds under 1.25. Such success rate may seem to be hardly attainable. I will show You it’s not.

I picked 7 teams, which are known by their stable form. I calculated their success rate limit[2] versus real success rate. For calculation I used matches from year 2013/2014, where the odd on the team was under 1.25. The results may surprise You:

Team name Count of wins Count of losses Success rate limit  Real success rate
Olympiakos 35 1 0.87 97.22
Juventus 16 1 0.83 94.12
Real Madrid 31 3 0.87 91.18
Bayern Munich 35 4 0.85 89.74
Benfica 17 3 0.82 85.00
Barcelona 31 9 0.87 77.50
Chelsea 10 3 0.83 76.92

Yes, it’s true. If You would bet on all matches of these teams in case of odd under 1.25 You would be profitable in 5 of them (a lot in case of Olympiakos and Juventus).

Profit distribution within odds interval

I chose betting interval 1.00 to 1.50 because of the high success rate. 

For better interpretation I collected the data into simple table:

Odds interval Betted money Money earned Money lost Balance Yield[3] (%)
(1.00;1.25> 5940.00 978.00 -780.00 198.00 3.33
(1.26;1.50> 15117.00 4155.00 -3875.00 280.00 1.85

You can see, that by comparing the yield (standard financial indicator) is the interval (1.00;1.25> the most profitable. Real yield (before uniting the odds on same fixed 15 Euro profit) was for odds in interval (1.00;1.25> more than 6%!


I showed You in the article possible way, how to achieve decent profits in football betting. That is betting on matches with odds under 1.50, especially under 1.25. This type of betting however requires strong betting discipline. Maybe because of that are betters choosing different more or less successful ways. Each better should define goal, for which he/she is betting. Mine is clear….. profit! 🙂

Let’s BET!

PS1: Watch out the fake low-odds bets from sportsbooks, which so like to undervalue the odds.

PS2: Special thanks belong to my 2 betting partners, math genius Michal Kováčik and top better Lukáš Beniač.

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